Posted Mar 2023
Our law firm represented a Greek subsidiary of a leading multi-national group of companies in the medical devices sector before the Court of Appeals in Athens in a competition law litigation. CoA vacated a Multi-Member CFI decision, condemning our Client to supply “in perpetuity” a so-called independent contractor with spare parts for the provision of technical services for medical devices marketed in Greece exclusively by our Client. The case involved complexed matters in the fields of Anti-Trust Law and Unfair Competition. CoA in Athens delineated the relevant product/services market in line with well-established CJEU case law and EU Commission practice on market definition in cases of primary and secondary markets. Further on, CoA, adopting in full the line of argumentation advanced by our Client, drew a clear distinction between a single economic entity’s de novo refusal or disruption of supply in the context of implementation of a reasonable business decision as opposed to cases of disruption of supply resulting from a vertical agreement between independent economic entities. CoA found that the former falls within the fundamental right of economic freedom of an undertaking and is thus justified. CoA also addressed the matter of overpricing and margin squeeze, finding in favor of our Client. CoA in balancing the conflicting interests and taking into account the status quo of the independent contractor, being active in the relevant field for a long period of time, imposed our Client an obligation to supply solely for a 6-month period of time. The CoA ruling determines the outcome of several pending interrelated civil and criminal complaints which were previously suspended. Our client was represented by Ass. Prof. Christian Filios and Mrs. Angeliki Rousaki.